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Friday, 21 June 2013

Prayer Journey - My second step

After admitting to some struggles as I try to get my prayer life up to speed, this Sunday I'm going to preach on the second chapter of Gerard and Chrissie Kelly's book, Intimate with the Ultimate.

This is all about getting a rhythm in your prayer life. Music to my ears. I've always been stop start, trying out something new and being all enthusiastic for a week or two, only for the next new thing to become another source of guilt, or an unwanted millstone round my neck.

The chapter begins with a provocative quote from Christine Sine: "I am challenged by the idea of entering into the joy of the Sabbath as a glimpse of eternity. Taking the Sabbath seriously affects the rhythm and focus of my whole life, not just one day a week."
Tomorrow will be my day off, and I will be resting. I don't always manage a full day off, and if my sermon isn't finished, I'll be sneaking into the study or sitting with my laptop on my knees while watching television in the evening, finishing my Powerpoint or the notice sheet.
(Ever wondered why there are so many typos in the notice sheet? Maybe there was something good on telly on Saturday night ...)

But it's not just about taking a day off once a week. Important though that is, what the Kellys are really talking about, is contrast.
They give the example of the discovery made by impressionist painters, that using contrasting colours could make each one shine more brightly. If we can inject some contrast into our lives - times of effort interspersed with times of rest, times of action balanced by times of reflection - then the resulting rhythm will add depth to all we do.

These rhythms aren't prayer in themselves, more containers into which prayer can be poured. They can be thimble-sized, or big enough for a gallon of Spirit. But without the container, the prayer can't be held. Try getting yourself a drink without a glass to put it in. You end up in all sorts of contortions trying to get your head under the tap.

If rhythm can stop my prayer life getting contorted, it's well worth a go!

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